Jim Scriven Honored as LEA’s Christus Magister

LEA’s board of directors selected Jim Scriven to receive its top honor, the Christus Magister Award. Since 1965, this most prestigious Lutheran Education Association award has been presented to Lutheran educators who have made significant contributions to Lutheran education.

Jim Scriven is the Director of Education Services for the NOW District. He previously served Lutheran education as a principal, teacher, technology coordinator, athletic director, and drama director.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (minor in communication and theater) from Concordia University, St. Paul. He also has a Master of Education (Educational Administration) from Concordia University, Nebraska.

When asked about his greatest joys in ministry, Jim said, “My greatest joys are found assisting and supporting leaders, educators, and volunteers of our schools to do their best work, providing for sustainable educational ministries that keep the light of Christ shining into communities. I value the relationships I’ve been able to build throughout the Northwest District and the Synod, as well as with local people in the communities in which our ministries serve. Every time a school leader experiences success, a school increases enrollment, or a church steps out in new ministry, I share in the joy that comes from knowing my support helped make that possible.”

Jim says his greatest challenge as executive director in the NOW District is “Helping schools embrace change. What has worked for decades will not get the job done moving forward. Schools must transform their funding models, charging what they are worthwhile being worth what they charge. They must learn to market themselves with clarity, both internally and externally. Additionally, they must ceaselessly pursue innovative excellence, from spiritual development to academics, facility care to customer service. Lutheran Schools must provide affirmation that those who entrust their children into our care have made the right, and best, choice.”

Jim’s nominator said, “Jim is the Education Executive for the Northwest District of the LCMS. In his role, he supports administrators, schools, and teachers throughout the district. Jim fulfills this role with excellence, but I believe he goes well above and beyond the typical role of an Ed Exec. Jim is always available for consultation and advice. He visits all the schools in the district multiple times each year so that he can get a sense for what they’re going through, and then when administrators call him with questions, he can give sound advice based on what he’s seen. But more than that, Jim keeps a regular coaching schedule with each administrator and engages them in deep thinking questions about their ministry and how they can continue to grow. Jim challenges all of us to be lifelong learners and grow and develop in our roles.

Jim advances the work of each school ministry by challenging schools to grow! He has equipped himself to be an educational leader in current pedagogy and methodology. Jim has been the main lead for encouraging schools to learn more about Proficiency Based Learning. His work in this area, along with his work with the administrators, has caused schools to think outside the box and meet the challenging needs of educating students for their careers that lie ahead. As a direct result of Jim’s work, the schools in the district are growing. As a former administrator of one of those schools, Jim left a permanent mark on that school and the students were the direct recipients of his work with the administration and staff.

Jim also serves Synod in various roles outside of his work as education executive. Jim has recently served as the chair of the Ed Exec committee and works with the group as a whole to support education on a synodical level. He has been a presenter at many conferences and works with NLSA in multiple roles. He has also written articles and other resources that are available for anyone to use for their own personal growth in education.

The bottom line is that he loves Jesus and wants to empower and encourage others to grow and provide the best service they can so students can come to know the Lord. In the end, that’s what it’s all about, and Jim exemplifies this quality on every level of education – from the Synod to the district to the school to the classroom.”

In support of Jim’s nomination, his pastor said, “His educational leadership and his partnership in the work of the gospel have been invaluable… Jim is humble and collaborative, exercising servant leadership in bringing enthusiastic new ideas or constructive critiques of existing ideas to the table, often volunteering to take on a portion of the work himself. He is not one to simply float ideas, but rather rolls up his sleeves and encourages others to join him. His overall vision for the congregation and ministries: Educating Everyone, Raising Up New Educators.”

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